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Scat XXVII: 1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

This 1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II kit is typical of Monogram products back in the 1970s and 80s, defined by impressive detail for the time (especially in the cockpit) with finely raised panel lines, all produced at affordable prices. The fit was sometimes less than stellar, however many of us in North America "cut our teeth" on these kits and continue to build them today, despite their age.


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Notable Kit Features:

  • Nicely molded (and mostly correct) cockpit

  • Detailed ejection seats (partly molded into the pit)

  • Good overall shape and dimensions

  • Finely done raised panel lines

  • Nicely done landing gear

  • Multi-piece glass canopy can be positioned open or closed

  • Separate ailerons and speed brakes which can be positioned

  • Basic Air-Air armament (AIM-7 and AIM-9) come with the kit as well as ECM pods, "Towel Rack" Loran antenna, camera pod & Vulcan gun-pod


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Build Inspiration:


During my early model making years, I built a number of Vietnam War era aircraft and this is one of the better known ones. Col. Robin Olds gained widespread fame and respect as the aggressive commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing during the Vietnam War. He completed 152 combat missions, including 105 over North Vietnam. Olds is credited with downing two MiG-17 and two MiG-21 aircraft.


Col. Robin Olds poses in front of his F-4C Phantom II "Scat XXVII"

Above Photo: Col. Robin Olds poses in front of his F-4C Phantom II "Scat XXVII". It was in this aircraft (FG 40-829 433rd TFS, 8thTFW) that he and his WSO Lt. Steve Croker shot down 2 MiG-17s on 20 May 1967 (Mission callsign "Tampa 01".)


Previous to his combat experience in South East Asia, Robin Olds had flown in WWII with distinction, becoming the only pilot to "make ace" in both the P-38 (5 victories) and the P-51 (8 victories). His aircraft in WWII also bore the name "Scat" (some things you don't change).


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Heads-Up Report:


  • Ejection seats are partly molded into the pit (which still works for me)

  • Fit of the engine intakes will require some filler & sanding

  • Underside wing fit with aircraft nose requires careful fitting and possibly some filler work to join smoothly

  • Raised panel lines and detail make sanding seams problematic as detail is removed in the process (or you could completely sand off the panel lines)

  • Speed brake actuators are molded into the well

  • Horizontal stabilizer fit will require trimming as they sit too far off the fuselage

  • Outboard wing tanks are molded onto pylons

  • Glass fit is OK but not great (can be positioned open or closed)

  • Sink marks are often present in the Sparrows that come with the kit


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Sanded off the raised panel lines

  • Trimmed horizontal stabilizers tab to fit close to the fuselage

  • Cut ends from exhausts for more depth

  • Used (modified) third-party decals for Robin Olds' aircraft


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Finishing:


The paint scheme applied to this aircraft is TAC Jungle, the USAF standard for combat planes of the time. The colours consisted of FS 30219 Tan / 34079 Dark Green / 34102 Medium Green over the underside FS 36622 Light Gray. Weathering was kept minimal as I was painting museum example replicas at the time.


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

The After-Build Report:


Better F-4 kits are now available on the 1/48th scale market, however the Monogram Phantom II kits still produce a good result, that definitely looks the part, at a very reasonable cost. If you are looking for a bargain 1/48th F-4C Phantom II this Monogram kit is good value for money. The best (and expectedly most expensive) F-4C/D kit in 1/48th is most likely the Zoukei-Mura. I have built the Academy 1/48th F-4C Phantom II which is quite nice (less detail than the Zoukei-Mura however less expensive as well) so model builders now have a few choices to suit your desired detail and price point in F-4 Phantoms (which was not always the case).


Completed build #27 - September 1986 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5800 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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